All-year-long HipHopDX has been clocking the movements of the 10 best new rappers elected to the 2022 Rising Stars class, which include Baby Tate, Bia, Coi Leray, Doechii, Duke Deuce, EST Gee, MAVI, Nardo Wick, Remble, and Sofaygo.
Since the mid-year update in September, DX’s 2022 Rising stars have continued to build on their existing buzz by delivering new releases, locking in on high-level collaborations, commanding control of social media and so much more.
Check out the full details on what each of DX‘s 2022 Rising Stars accomplished throughout last year below:
BIA earned 2022 DX Hip Hop Awards honors last month after being nominated in the Best Hip Hop Songs category for her anthemic “London” collab featuring Dreamville lyricist J. Cole. In a sense, the year-end nod is consistent with her outstanding effort this year in the space of collaboration.
Having already proved her creative chemistry in years pasts via her defining appearances on records such as Russ’ 2020 hit “Best On Earth,” and her own platinum single “Whole Lotta Money (Remix)” featuring Nicki Minaj, BIA’s unrelenting campaign of high-level collabs in 2022 further underscored her versatility.
For starters, the Epic Records signee stood toe-to-toe with Hip Hop legend Missy Elliott and EDM superstar DJs David Guetta and Afrojack for the March single “Trampoline,” featuring her fellow Rising Star, TDE’s Doechii. BIA also maintained her own ground on YG’s I GOT ISSUES pre-album posse-cut “Run,” featuring Tyga, and 21 Savage. And her guest verse on Nicki Minaj’s Billboard chart-topping September single “Super Freaky Girl (Queenmix),” coupled with her appearance on Snakeship’s “Solitude,” collaboration earlier this month further confirms how dedicated she was to dishing out guest verses upon request.
On top of that, BIA secured a new bag outside of the music industry with the launch of her Beauty For Certain cosmetic brand in February.
While it’s clear Baby Tate isn’t exactly a newcomer, given her fan-favorite project ROYGBIV first reached audiences in 2015, 2022 marked the arrival of her tenure as a mainstream artist to watch.
It’s remarkable how the Warner Records signee managed to elevate her career this year, especially when considering her Mani/Pedi album, which was released in September and awarded a three-point-eight out of five-star DX Review rating, arrived as her debut release for the label, which is also home to artists such as Saweetie and NLE Choppa.
Aside from the release of her project, Baby Tate also navigated numerous career-enriching opportunities in 2022, including her late-night TV debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon for a special performance alongside R&B legend Babyface and the iconic Hip Hop band The Roots.
She also commanded social media with an iron fist due to countless challenges and her unapologetic lyricism — which she recently used to take aim at producer Hitmaka on her freestyle “Pussy Rappers,” following his comments about female artists.
Coi Leray’s tenacity is something that not only her core fans can appreciate, but something that artists from multiple generations of Hip Hop seemingly admire about her as well. Despite considerably low sales of her debut album Trendsetters, which moved 9,000 units the first week of its April release and included appearances from artists such as Pooh Shiesty, Yung Bleu, G Herbo, Polo G and more, the Republic Records rapper has maintained, if not increased momentum she had already created.
Much like her fellow DX Rising Star Baby Tate, Coi Leray has an affinity for captivating social media audiences with her music well before it is even released. Take for instance her recent smash “Players,” which features a heavy sample of Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five’s classic 1982 hit“The Message.” Since the “No More Parties,” rapper first teased the record on social media on November 5, Coi linked up with Hip Hop legend Grandmaster Flash and was given her flowers by yet another veteran, Busta Rhymes, who is adamantly “proud,” of her hustle.
What’s even more impressive about Coi Leray is the way she’s managed the pressures that come with the territory of being a major-label artist. Even though she did address the Latto reference tracks scandal, she ended up turning the situation on its head by initiating the emergence of R&B Coi and releasing her “Wasted,” single.
Doechii made her mark this year in August upon the release of her debut project She / Her / Black Bitch, which is also home to her fan-beloved “Persuasive,” collaboration with her Top Dawg Entertainment labelmate, SZA. Aside from the music embedded in her five-song project, one of the most impressive factors of the Florida rapper’s 2022 campaign is the way she has maintained her momentum through a variety of moves that amplify her value as an artist.
Along with her appearance on David Guetta and Afrojack’s “Trampoline” single featuring Missy Elliott and BIA, Doechii has also delivered exceptional guest features on multiple occasions, such as her assist on R&B heavyweight Babyface’s Girls Night Out album title track. She also proved to be an incendiary spark on St. Louis MC Smino’s Luv 4 Rent banger “Pro Freak,” featuring Fatman Scoop, and also created a viral moment with her ColorsxStudios performance of her “Stressed,” single in October.
And last, but certainly not least, Doechii proved her music can personify cinematic experiences, as her unreleased song became the soundtrack to the trailer for Netflix’s Jordan Peele and Henry Selick-helmed film. Wendell & Wild.
Duke Deuce truly put his native Memphis on his back this year at every opportunity. His dedication to working with artists from his hometown remained thoroughbred, true and true, via his “Step Back” collaboration with Three 6 Mafia member Juicy J and his anthem “Just Say That,” featuring Yo Gotti’s CMG signee GloRilla.
The Quality Control rap star elevated his craft and his city to new heights once again in October with the release of his Halloween-themed project Memphis Massacre, which saw Duke Deuce join forces with the Memphis orchestra group, Project Pat, Big Moochie Grape of Paper Route Empire and more. The project also arrived just four months following the release of his sophomore album Crunkstar which includes guest appearances from artists such as Doe Boy, Lil Yachty and Rico Nasty among others.
His efforts haven’t gone unnoticed either, as Duke Deuce was recruited, along with Rae Sremmurd rapper Swae Lee, to be a part of music festival-turned-label Rolling Loud Record’s inaugural release “Finger Food,” which is set to appear on the compilation album dropping this year via EMPIRE.
EST Gee made the most of 2022 despite multiple strenuous obstacles he has been forced to overcome.
Just a month after he and his CMG labelmate 42 Dugg joined forces for their collaborative Last Ones Left album, his Detroit rap peer was arrested in Michigan for failing to turn himself in to serve an outstanding six-month prison sentence. EST Gee pressed on though, promoting the 17-track project home to their collective hit “Thump Shit,” while also contributing heavily to CMG’s compilation project Gangsta Art, where he appeared on key tracks such as “Paparazzi,” with Yo Gitti and Blac Youngsta and “Top Dolla,” with Moneybagg Yo.
The most commendable of EST Gee’s efforts last year is undoubtedly the work he put into his numbing trifecta-completing I Never Felt Nun album. The 21-track project captures the Kentucky native opposite of major names such as Jack Harlow on their “Backstage Passes,” collab, and Future for their banger “Shoot It Myself,” among others. The LP also arrived amid EST Gee revealing his battle with a degenerative vision injury resulting from a 2019 shooting following the filming of a video with Sada Baby, where he was shot four times in his stomach and also took a bullet in his left eye.
MAVI’s methodical moves this past 365 seem fitting, considering the Earl Sweatshirt co-signed lyricist studied neuroscience at Howard University,
The Charlotte native successfully aligned with Warner Records rapper IDK, who invited MAVI to join his Simple. World Tour in June, and promptly began the rollout of the follow-up to his 2021 End Of The Earth EP in September by releasing his thoughtful “Baking Soda,” single. By October, MAVI masterminded the delivery of his album Laughing So Hard, It Hurts as a joint-effort release by way of his own imprint MAVI 4 Mayor Music under an exclusive license to UnitedMasters, Steve Stoute’s American-based music distribution company.
After receiving both fan-acclaim and high marks on the album in his DX Review, which ranked the project a near-perfect four-point-four out of five stars, MAVI announced his first-ever headlining world tour to promote Laughing So Hard, It Hurts.
The North Carolina-bred rapper is set to kick off the worldwide trek on January 17 in Lawrence, Kansas, before taking in shows in Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit and more. He’ll then head overseas for shows in Paris, London, Berlin and Manchester before returning stateside to visit Seattle, Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas, Atlanta and several other cities through the tour finale in New York City on May 26.
Nardo Wick continued to thrive within the menacing shroud of hype he created after connecting with Lil Durk, G Herbo and 21 Savage for the remix of his hit single “Who Want Smoke” in 2021.
In addition to working with artists such as Lil Baby and Future, who he collaborated with on his fan-favorite record “Me Or Sum,” the Jacksonville native delivered the deluxe edition of his Who Is Nardo Wick album and subsequently embarked on his 20-date North American tour of the same name.
Nardo Wick has also continued to set himself apart due to his consistent barrage of cinematic videos in released in 2022 — like “Demon Mode” and “DahDah DahDah,” which have collectively accumulated more than 18 million views in counting.
It appears Nardo Wick has big plans for the year ahead as he rang in the New Year by previewing a snippet of an unreleased banger on his Instagram page on January 1.
Remble has somewhat remained the underachiever of this year’s DX Rising Stars class.
Last summer, Remble himself seemingly assured his listener’s new music was on the way after he tweeted to his followers, “This album I’m finishing up for y’all is dangerous. Who do you wanna hear on it?” For his birthday on July 3, he also shared a snippet of an unreleased track energized by his off-kilter flow on his Instagram page, further building the hype for potential new releases.
However, his highlighted 2022 lyrical appearances include his feature verse on Lil 9’s “Paper Plates,” single, and his assist to Huntington Park rapper Moneysign $uede for his Parkside Baby project track “Juice.”
SoFaygo has been seemingly wrapped up in the process of creating and releasing his debut Cactus Jack release Pink Heartz all year long — and the strategy appears to be working in his favor.
After initially confirming the project was complete last May, SoFaygo kicked off the rollout of the LP with his high-energy, Ken Carson-assisted track “Hell Yea.” Then, in November, the Charlotte native released his 16-track debut effort with features from artists such as Lil Uzi Vert, DJ Khaled and Gunna, Don Toliver and more.
And following the release of the panoramic music video for the fan-favorite album track “Going Back,” last November, SoFaygo announced he’d be joining NAV on his NEVER:SLEEP Tour with special guest Bryson Tiller starting this February on Valentine’s Day in Minneapolis.
For more year-end content, check out DX’s 2022 Hip Hop Awards coverage, which spans multiple categories including the Best Hip Hop Albums,Best Rapper of the year, and Hip Hop Rookie of the Year, among others